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2011 NBA Finals Odds: Mavericks vs. Heat Series Preview | Pick

NBA PLAYOFF Predictions: Mavs vs Heat NBA Finals Series Preview

Before nba betting fans turn their attention to NBA Playoff basketball betting events this week, we have a great NBA finals series Previews on tap, and our man Lawrence weighs in with his picks for the series. It’s time for our weekly hoops picks for NBA gambling action.


Schedule (All games ABC TV in United States and TSN in Canada)

Game 1: Tue., May 31 in Miami, 9 p.m.
Game 2: Thu., June 2 in Miami, 9 p.m.
Game 3: Sun., June 5 in Dallas, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Tue., June 7 in Dallas, 9 p.m.
Game 5: Thu., June 9 in Dallas, 9 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 6: Sun., June 12 in Miami, 8 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 7: Tue., June 14 in Miami, 9 p.m. (if necessary)
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Dallas vs. Miami
Odds to win title
Heat 3/5
Mavericks 7/4

Payback time has arrived for NBA fans who are not fortunate enough to take their mail in the 32963 (South Beach) area code. If you opened the morning paper or turned on SportsCenter between November and April and smiled when you saw that the Heat had lost another game, this is backatya. Because now you have no choice but to deal with these guys on their terms – as bitter a pill as that might be to swallow.

The Finals are here, and for Miami haters the only hope remaining lies in the talented 7-foot German body of Dirk Nowitzki, who like LeBron James can be as close to unguardable as there exists on the planet today. Nowitzki will have to maintain his ridiculous level of play for the next two weeks against a python-like Heat defense that has finally broken the code to dominating games in the final minutes of play.

A Cliff notes look at the series:

LeBron James

James gave up a few million (chump change, really) to get a chance to play for a title, and he won’t leave anything on the table. Does he ever get tired? James played all but two minutes in the series-clinching win over the stunned Bulls, and put up these numbers in what was essentially a slow-down game: 28 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He is absolutely at the top of his game, and he no doubt believes that winning a title will somehow make people forget the way he has acted like a jackass since last year’s playoffs.

Pat Riley and Mark Cuban

Doesn’t it seem like these guys should switch places? Cuban represents the new breed of NBA owner – email, Tweeting, in the faces of referees. He would be perfect for the Heat. Riley, tie always in place and reeking of old money, should be running the aging Mavericks. Representing an NBA and a fan base uncomfortable now that superstars have found a way to game the system, join forces and make a mockery of leveling influences like the draft and the salary cap. Yet here they are – Cuban with the old-guard Mavs and Riley with the trendy Heat. Strange.

Everyone else

It’s also a bit bizarre that Dwyane Wade, perhaps of the 5 best players in the world, has become a bit of an afterthought. He’s still unstoppable at times, but there’s no doubt that he has become Robin to LeBron’s Batman. And Chris Bosh, who has the chops to win a game every now and then, is often left alone as teams do everything they can to stop the Big Two, hoping that Bosh will visit Boshville and throw up a 2-for-14 shooting night. PG Jason Kidd is better than anything the Heat can put on the floor, and Jason Terry (who played PG when the Mavs aged away the 2006 Finals to Miami but is now comfy at the 2) can dominate games at stretches. His 23- and 32-point games against the Lakers in Games 4 and 5 are a main reason LA is sitting out these Finals.

The coaches

Has the coaching matchup ever been more irrelevant in Finals than in this one? Rick Carlisle will have a few decisions to make, maybe switching to a zone every now and then to protect Nowitzki from getting into foul trouble or making sure Kidd’s legs don’t collapse. But the offense will run through Nowitzki just about every possession. And Erik Spoelstra, who gets an attaboy or two for keeping the team from imploding during a couple of dark hours in the regular season, knows that to keep drawing checks on the first and 15th of every month, all he has to do is not get too involved and stay out of the way of the players, who basically do whatever pleases them.

The prediction

James may not, as Scottie Pippen said this week is a statement that made the sphincters of Bulls fans tighten to pinhole size, be a better player than Michael Jordan was. But right now he’s the best player in the NBA, and the way the NBA works, the team with the best player usually wins the series.

And in case you haven’t noticed, Miami is unbeaten at home in the playoffs and has home-court edge.

Heat, alas, in 6.


Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling expert from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!